Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
If you noticing things moving around on the website, have no worries, it’s just me doing some spring cleaning. I realized that my life has changed “slightly” since I started this blog two years ago, so some updates were required.
The adventure continues!
Grad school, done! I have the diploma on my wall to prove it. :D You’d think that not writing business papers each week would give me more time to write, but as soon as I graduated we were pregnant again. I was so tired the whole time I was pregnant that I had to forgive myself for not writing at night. Once Sweetpea was tucked in for the night, I was brushing my teeth and heading for Bedfordshire too.
So, post baby Ace and now I’m back to work, my outlook on “free time” has changed. Any time where I don’t have to hold, feed, or wash something or someone is now my free time. Efficiency has risen to new levels that I have never needed to achieve before.
How has my writing been impacted by all this? Well, words per day went down (for a while it was almost nonexistent), but I reminded myself that a writer is someone who writes everyday. A renewed effort was required if I wanted to call myself a writer. (You don’t have to be published to be a writer, just like you don’t have to win a marathon to be a runner.)
I used to think those word count tracking bars were for other people. I didn’t need one in order to achieve my goals. Well… I might have been wrong. If I’m not tracking my progress, it is much less likely that progress will be achieved. And given my drought of words-on-page, progress is needed if I want to get out of the doldrums and finish this novel!!
Check out my updated About page, complete with a new pic of Sweetpea, as well as an updated teaser for THE DREAMLESS CITY.
When sneak-thief Nissa Rhodes runs into a burning stable and saves High Justicar Stagunner’s prized stallion, the grateful gent offers her employment on his estate. Barely surviving on the cut-throat streets of Cobblecourt district, tall and lanky Nissa accepts the offer, at least through the coming winter.
In the Dreamless City of Rivenloss, Nissa is a dreamer and considered extremely dangerous. Dreamers are executed by Justicars to prevent the overflow of aether power when they dream, causing chaotic events such as animating corpses and manifesting phantasms. Nissa has remained hidden, but her discovery becomes more likely each time she falls asleep.
The Stagunner Estate in Hightown district is a world apart from cobblestone streets clogged with hackneys, steam carriages, and all manner of men looking to make a dishonest frankel. Nissa soon discovers that the grand estates are no safer than the crowded streets as she becomes an unwilling pawn in the power games between the Stagunners and the rival Rommanocs.
When Ellesande Merueste, heiress to the richest family in Rivenloss, announces a series of gentlemen’s events to decide who will escort her to the Primavera Gala, all of Hightown takes notice. It is rumored that whomever escorts Ellesande will be able to ask for her hand in marriage. Winning the games means winning a chance at a fabulous fortune, which could save the Stagunners from financial ruin.
Daschel Stagunner, the horse-crazy and impulsive third son of the High Justicar, is a likely candidate to win the three horse races Ellesande has planned for her amusement. When a suspicious accident with a tampered saddle leaves Daschel with a broken arm, he begs Nissa, who is his match in frame and stature, to take his place in the first race. Disguised with a hat and scarf, Nissa pulls off impersonating the Hightown lad and wins the race.
When Nissa is not training for her next race on Daschel’s behalf, she is mucking out stalls and getting on head groom Reynard Triannon’s nerves. Tall, pale, and serious, Reynard does not appreciate Nissa’s sarcasm, but in the quiet moments cleaning bridles, Nissa thinks he might be a decent lad after all. Together, Reynard and Nissa help Daschel to win Ellesande’s favor.
After his eldest brother’s murder, Daschel asks Nissa to impersonate him again so they can sneak into the rival Rommanoc estate during a masquerade ball and find proof of the murder. Nissa, growing fond of the impulsive lad, does not reveal that she has been dreaming while awake and will likely be more of a hindrance than a help to him.
When Nissa’s secret is discovered by the rival Rommanoc family, will she stay loyal to the Stagunners, or betray them to save her life?
THE DREAMLESS CITY is a steampunk urban fantasy work-in-progress, currently totaling 50,000 words. The goal is 90,000 words upon completion.